Sixth Meditation on Democracy [written January 10, 2008] REPUBLISHED

https _s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com_736x_ee_59_33_ee593300e425c02784549e0228c025e1In the begin­ning years of this blog, I pub­lished a series of arti­cles called “Med­i­ta­tions on Democ­racy and Dic­ta­tor­ship” which are still reg­u­larly read today, and have had some influ­ence. They still elicit inquiries from remote cor­ners of the globe. They are now buried in the back pages of the blog, so I’m mov­ing them up the chrono­log­i­cal counter so they can have another round of vis­i­bil­ity, espe­cially (I hope) with younger read­ers. I am re-posting them in their orig­i­nal sequence over part of 2018. Some ref­er­ences in these “med­i­ta­tions” will date them to 2007–2008, when they were writ­ten. But I will leave them un-retouched, though I may occa­sion­ally append some ret­ro­spec­tive notes. Mostly, they deal with abstract issues that do not need updating.


14-03-18 BLOG SIXTH MEDITATION ON DEMOCRACYFor this Med­i­ta­tion on Democ­racy, the sixth in the series, I will under­take a cri­tique of some cur­rently dom­i­nant ideas about the role of democ­racy in human his­tory, and attempt to pro­vide a con­cep­tual frame­work for look­ing at democ­racy in a dif­fer­ent, more real­is­tic way. This will mean that some of the ground cov­ered in ear­lier med­i­ta­tions will be revis­ited. It will also draw on the col­lab­o­ra­tive work between myself and Prof. Steven Muhlberger, pub­lished in the Jour­nal of World His­tory, and on the World His­tory of Democ­racy Web­site. I am exclu­sively respon­si­ble, how­ever, for the views expressed in this series.

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Image of the month: a fine Hockney

18-08-01 IMAGE a fine HockneyModel With Unfin­ished Self-Portrait (1977) by David Hock­ney. A pro­foundly civ­i­lized paint­ing, one of the finest pro­duced in Amer­ica — part of a noble her­itage that is now endan­gered by the wave of bru­tal bar­barism that is sweep­ing over that land.

FILMSJULY 2018

(Nyby 1951) The Thing [aka The Thing From Another World]
(Craven 1982) Swamp Thing
(Tenold 2018) Brandon’s Cult Movie Reviews: Swamp Thing
(Warner 2012) How the Uni­verse Works: Ep.14 ― Comets: Frozen Wan­der­ers
(Har­ris 2012) How the Uni­verse Works: Ep.15 ― Aster­oids: Worlds That Never Were
(Har­ris 2012) How the Uni­verse Works: Ep.16 ― Birth of the Earth
(Ben­ner 1977) Out­ra­geous!
(Mof­fatt 1984) Doc­tor Who: Ep.625 ― The Twin Delema, Part 3
(Mof­fatt 1984) Doc­tor Who: Ep.626 ― The Twin Delema, Part 4
(Borzage 1928) The River [sur­viv­ing scenes]
(Thiele 1943) Tarzan’s Desert Mys­tery
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First-time listening for July 2018

29222. (Arthur Sul­li­van [& W.S. Gilbert]) The Sor­ceror [com­plete opera; D’Oyly Carte]
29223. (Global Com­mu­ni­ca­tion) Fab­ric 26 [DJ Mix 12 by Mark Pritchard, 12 by Tom Mid­dle­ton]
29224. (Gia­como Meyer­beer) L’Africaine [com­plete opera; d. Capuana; Stella, Nikolov, Rinaldi]
29225. (Kun­nakudi Vaidyanathan) Golden Krithis: Colours
29226. (3 Inches of Blood) Here Waits Thy Doom
29227. (Gia­como Meyer­beer) Les Huguenots [com­plete opera; d. Diederich; Pol­let, Ghiuse­lev, Leech]
29228. (Jason Isbell) South­east­ern
29229. (Domenico Scar­latti) Missa Breve “La Stella“
29230. (Queen­srÿche) Oper­a­tion Mind­crime
29231. (Péter Eötvös) Angels in Amer­ica! [com­plete opera; d. Eötvös; Belcher, Hen­dricks;
. . . . . Migenes — 2006]
29232. (Chitti Babu Chal­la­pally) Raga Naatai: Adi Taal “Sarasiruhasan“
Read more »

READINGJULY 2018

27476. (Adam Gry­de­høj) Islands as Leg­i­ble Geo­gra­phies: Per­ceiv­ing the Island­ness of Kalaalit
. . . . . Nunaat [arti­cle]
27477. (David G. Har­well) Intro­duc­tion to The Sci­ence Fic­tion Cen­tury [pref­ace]
27479. (Fred­erik Pohl, C. M. Korn­bluth & Dirk Wylie) Vacant World [story] [d]
27480. (N. K. Jemisin) Stone Hunger [story]
27481. (Oliver Diet­rich) Trav­el­ling or Not? Trac­ing Indi­vid­ual Mobil­ity Pat­terns of Late Bronze
. . . . . Age Met­al­work­ers in the Carpathian Basin [arti­cle]
27482. (Bert van der Spek) Home­rus en de oost­erse epiek [arti­cle]
27483. (Androm­eda Romano-Lax) Plum Rains
27484. (Christo­pher P. Atwood) Impe­r­ial Itin­er­ance and Mobile Pas­toral­ism ― The State and
. . . . . Mobil­ity in Medieval Inner Asia [arti­cle]
27485. (Siân Hal­crow) Why It’s Not OK for Human Skele­tal Remains to Fig­ure in NZ
. . . . . Freema­son Rit­u­als [arti­cle]
27486. (Michael Mucci, Ben Cald­well, Rick Lacy & Emanuel Ten­derini) Homer’s The Odyssey
. . . . . [graphic novel]
27487. (Arthur C. Clarke) Travel by Wire! [story]
27488. (Prim­i­tiva Bueno Ramírez, et al) Secuen­cias grá­fi­cas Pale­olítico en la Sierra de San
. . . . . Pedro. Tajo inter­na­cional. Cáceres [arti­cle]
27489. (Charles Lamb) The Story of Ulysses
27490. (Kevin G. Daly et al) Ancient Goat Genomes Reveal Mosaic Domes­ti­ca­tion in the
. . . . . Fer­tile Cres­cent [arti­cle]
27491. (Lavanya Vem­sani) Narasimha, Lord of Tran­si­tions, Trans­for­ma­tions, and The­ater
. . . . . Fes­ti­vals: God and Evil in Hindu Cos­mol­ogy, Myth, and Prac­tice [article]

Fifth Meditation on Democracy [written Monday, November 5, 2007] REPUBLISHED

https _s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com_736x_ee_59_33_ee593300e425c02784549e0228c025e1In the begin­ning years of this blog, I pub­lished a series of arti­cles called “Med­i­ta­tions on Democ­racy and Dic­ta­tor­ship” which are still reg­u­larly read today, and have had some influ­ence. They still elicit inquiries from remote cor­ners of the globe. They are now buried in the back pages of the blog, so I’m mov­ing them up the chrono­log­i­cal counter so they can have another round of vis­i­bil­ity, espe­cially (I hope) with younger read­ers. I am re-posting them in their orig­i­nal sequence over part of 2018. Some ref­er­ences in these “med­i­ta­tions” will date them to 2007–2008, when they were writ­ten. But I will leave them un-retouched, though I may occa­sion­ally append some ret­ro­spec­tive notes. Mostly, they deal with abstract issues that do not need updating.


14-03-18 BLOG FIFTH MEDITATION ON DEMOCRACY

It’s my con­tention that both hier­ar­chi­cal and egal­i­tar­ian behav­iour are equally “nat­ural” to human beings. These two meth­ods of inter­act­ing with oth­ers in a group have co-existed in all human soci­eties, from the ear­li­est stages of our evo­lu­tion as a species. It is also my con­tention that, while there is a lim­ited place for hier­ar­chi­cal think­ing and behav­iour in a good soci­ety, it is egal­i­tar­ian think­ing that has cre­ated civ­i­liza­tion and moral­ity. Any soci­ety that is dom­i­nated by hier­ar­chy is essen­tially back­ward, self-destructive, and immoral. Read more »

Image of the month: ᐊᐅᔪᐃᑦᑐᖅ (Aujuittuq) / Grise Fiord

#B (6570)Aujuit­tuq [ᐊᐅᔪᐃᑦᑐᖅ, also known as Grise Fiord] is Canada’s north­ern­most town, in Qik­iq­tani Region, Nunavut Ter­ri­tory. It is located at the south­ern tip of Ellesmere Island, which is about half the size of Cal­i­for­nia, or about twice the size of Por­tu­gal. 800km fur­ther north from the lit­tle vil­lage is Cana­dian Forces Sta­tion Alert, the north­ern­most set­tle­ment in the world but inhab­ited only by a rotat­ing pop­u­la­tion of mil­i­tary per­son­nel and sci­en­tists. Aujuit­tuq is a real town in which peo­ple are born, live and die, and one of the cold­est inhab­ited places on earth.

FILMSJUNE 2018

(Almod­ó­var 1983) What Have I Done to Deserve This? [¿Qué he hecho yo para mere­cer esto!!]
(Five­son 1979) The Clonus Hor­ror [Mys­tery Sci­ence The­atre ver­sion]
(Oswald 1964) The Outer Lim­its: Ep.22 ― Spec­i­men: Unknown
(Hitch­cock 1940) For­eign Cor­re­spon­dent
(Dante 2013) Trail­ers from Hell: Joe Dante on Earth vs. the Fly­ing Saucers
(Sears 1956) Earth vs. the Fly­ing Saucers
(Wilder 1956) Wit­ness for the Pros­e­cu­tion
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First-time listening for June 2018

29189. (Hec­tor Berlioz) La Damna­tion de Faust [com­plete opera; d. Inbal; Gulyás, Lloyd,
.… . Ewing]
29190. (Dinah Wash­ing­ton) Dina Wash­ing­ton [Verve Jazz Mas­ters #40]
29191. (Imag­ine Drag­ons) Night Visions Live
29192. (Lak­sh­mi­narayana Shankar) Raga Aberi [w. Zakir Hus­sain]
29193. (Slam) BBC Essen­tial Mix, May 1,1994
29194. (Nam­a­giripet­tai Krish­nan) Kalyana Melam
29195. (Hec­tor Berlioz) Roméo et Juli­ette, Op.17 [d. Inbal; Denize, Cole, Lloyd]
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READINGJUNE 2018

27457. (Antanas Sileika) Under­ground
27458. (Marc-Antonio Bar­blan) 1476 ― Le naufrage du grand Duché d’ Occi­dent [arti­cle]
27459. (Hermione Hoby) A Story of Sur­vival: New York’s Last Remain­ing Inde­pen­dent
. . . . . Book­shops [arti­cle]
27460. (Alex Pre­ston) How Real Books Have Trumped EBooks [arti­cle]
27460. (Bur­jor Avari) India: The Ancient Past
27461. (Steven Muhlberger) Two Dukes of Bour­bon, Fac­tual and Leg­endary [draft]
27462. (Char­lotte L. King, et al) A Multi-faceted Approach towards Inter­pret­ing Early Life
. . . . . Expe­ri­ence and Infant Feed­ing Prac­tices in the Ancient Ata­cama Desert [arti­cle]
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